“Enough is enough. No more words without deeds. It’s time for action.”
These words were issued nearly eight years ago as part of a statement by a World Council of Churches gathering, and affirmed recently by a meeting of senior Palestinian Christians and their supporters in the Kairos Palestine 5th Anniversary statement, which noted that things have become worse, not better, for Palestinians since then. These words stirred us into action when we met earlier this year as the Palestine Israel Ecumenical Network (PIEN) to consider our future priorities.
As we prayerfully considered our options, it became clear that we needed to take a decisive step. We have heard the cry of Palestinian Christians asking the international community to join boycott and divestment campaigns. We have seen Churches internationally respond to the request. We have seen many Jewish people support these nonviolent economic strategies. We believe, with deep conviction, that the products made in the illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank represent a serious and blatant disregard for Palestinian human rights, and must be opposed.
We have therefore decided that PIEN will join others in responding with more than words, and this year we will focus our efforts on campaigning for businesses in Australia to stop selling settlement goods, beginning with dates.
We ask you to join us in our call to action, as people of faith, in moving from words to action.
Why we shouldn’t buy goods made in illegal Israeli settlements
Israeli settlements are exclusively Jewish communities that have been established in Occupied Palestine. Their existence and ongoing expansion confiscate large areas and are widely accepted by the international community as being against international law. Additionally their presence leads to a wide array of problems for Palestinians: road-closures; loss of farming livelihoods; checkpoints; exposure to settler violence; military control by Israel of daily life, and many more. To buy goods from these settlements is therefore not only undermining international law but implies support for the Israeli military occupation of Palestine. The devastating effects of these settlements on daily Palestinian life cannot be overstated. Read more.
Worldwide Christian and Jewish responses to goods from Israeli settlements
In recent years many churches and Jewish groups around the world have been campaigning against goods made in settlements, and against companies profiting from the occupation. We have documented some of these campaigns. Read more.
And make sure you’re on our email list to receive future updates!